Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, has defended his outburst against Democrat Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) by portraying it as anything but “criticism.”
Earlier this week, Biden declared he couldn’t pass critical legislation, from the point of view of the Democrats’ agenda, since in the House he only had an effective majority of four votes, and in the Senate, only a tie.
On top of that, two Senate members – Manchin and Sinema – were siding more often with the Republicans, the Democrat President complained.
Biden called out Senators who supported him 100%
During the White House press secretary’s briefing the next day, she was pressed hard by reporters with respect to Biden’s remarks targeting the two Democrat dissenters in the Senate.
One journalist cleverly observed that, as per ProPublica’s findings, Manchin and Sinema had actually voted in favor of Biden’s policies 100% when it came to major votes.
Psaki was then asked to explain the discrepancy there, and why the president thought it might be a good idea to call out Senators from his own party.
In response, the White House press secretary went on a lengthy explanation first defending Manchin and Sinema’s independent standing in the representation of the people of their states who elected them to the US Senate.
She argued instead that Biden hadn’t sought to single out the two dissenting Senators but to disprove all the “oversimplified” TV talk presenting them as such.
Psaki even observed that TV wasn’t “always” well-suited for complicated policy conversations.
She then went on the offensive by stating that Biden doesn’t need to be eye-to-eye with every single Democrat Senator on every issue, but was more than eager to collaborate through a common ground approach on matters of disagreement.
Psaki further touted Biden’s 36 years in the US Senate, emphasizing his deep understanding of the fact that the American federal government consists of three equally important branches.
She underscored that there were many paths to progress, which is why he sought to disprove the TV talk on his relations with Manchin and Sinema.
A reporter reacted to that wordy but hardly meaningful explanation, by noting that Biden made clear he is in favor of filibuster reform.
The journalist asked why the Democrat President isn’t more active in that regard, and whether he is privately building pressure on Sinema and Manchin on that matter.
A question of whether Biden meant the two dissenters were standing in his way to fulfill his agenda cut off Psaki’s response.
The White House press secretary then went on to repeat Biden’s quote and kept arguing that he wasn’t in fact giving a policy commentary but was citing the story “sold” on cable TV news shows.
At the end of the conference, Psaki tried to justify Biden’s outburst by stating that the president’s views with respect to the filibuster are that “a path forward” is needed for the two parties in order to vote easier and make progress for the sake of the American people.